Local objections may not be enough to save pub

Stag and Hound Pub. Pic: Ewan Munro

Stag and Hound Pub. Pic: Ewan Munro

Local residents and regulars of a South Croydon pub have lodged objections to plans to replace it with a housing development.

To date, 34 objections to the redevelopment of the Stag and Hounds have been filed. The owners of the Selsdon Road establishment plan to turn the 100-year-old building into twelve one-bedroom flats and two four-bedroom semi-detached houses. Weeden has not responded to requests for comment.

The average asking price for a one bedroom flat on Selsdon Road is £169,950; a four-bedroom property can sell for over £450,000. House prices in the borough have risen 232 per cent since 1995 with the average rental price for a flat being £999 pcm.

Opposition to the pub’s closure comes despite a number of controversial events surrounding the establishment. In a report submitted to the council’s licensing panel in February 2009, Police Constable Nicola Buge said Weeden had obstructed her from giving local resident Barry Street CPR after a fight at the pub. Street later died in hospital.

The report also added that traces of cocaine were found in the pub toilets and that there had been a number of incidents concerning “alleged drug use and violence” since 2006.

Thirty-one pubs a week close in the UK. Less than 55,000 now remain in the country with planning regulation partly to blame, according to The Campaign for Real Ale.

Tom Stainer, head of communications at Camra, said: “It is utterly perverse that developers are able to demolish or convert a pub into a convenience store or many other uses without any requirement to apply for planning permission. It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion.”

The Campaign is calling for planning applications to be made compulsory before a pub is converted or destroyed. They argue that community objections currently have little effect on the outcome of the property.

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